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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: keith

I'm having a hard time understanding why no one seems to give the man his due. We've heard PLENTY about Donna but yet not Keith. Why? In later years it certainly could be said he sort of slipped away,became pretty depressing in his demeanor BUT how can we possibly ignore his contribution? You could say that he just happened to be there during their peak but then go listen to those keys on that glorious Europe 72 tour and tell yourself he isn't helping to propel the band to unparalled jazz freeform.

Clearly everyone loves Brent the best but I'm not really a synthesizer or organ fan. I prefer the ivories. Nothing against Brent at all but I have to say I felt it when Bruce started sitting in. Not only felt it but saw it in Jerry.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 9, 2006 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Not everyone loves Brent best.

Brent had a great voice, added wonderful harmonies. But before Keith got too strung out he tickled a mean set of ivories. Anything '72-'74 reveals that.

Work during '77 on songs like TLEO, Peggy-O, Jack Straw, Wharf Rat, and many many others kept the flow of those songs going and I believe had a lot to do with that year sounding so smooth. His piano just rolls so effortlessly in '77 to round out the mellow, jazzy feel when needed and then he could switch to a hammering but spot-on Jerry Lee Lewis kind of vibe when ity came time for it in songs like round & round, Bertha, Sugar Mag, etc.

Keith was terrific, and Brent was a good, in some ways, very necessary follow up to help grow the band's sound. Finally there were harmonies to sweeten tunes like Stella and songs Like Rooster and Stranger had the sweeping organ sounds they thrived on.

It's still a matter of personal preference. I like the Keith era better and liked Keith's playing in its prime more because it was more "acoustic" and "natural" than Brent who created a circus kind of bells and whistle sound (at times) that I found annoying. But that "extra" stuff was what they were exploring in the 80's, so be it. Brent was a fine keyboardist, but I'll still take Keith in his hey-day.

GC

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 2:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Right on Grendel! I feel exactly as you do.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 9, 2006 1:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

no doubt Keith's jazz background had a significant influence on expanding the bands harmonic scope (Eyes, Let it Grow, Slipknot!, Crazy Fingers, Stronger than Dirt/King Solomon, Terrapin, Estimated...)

i'm also a big fan of the acoustic piano contributions of Keith as well as Brent prior to that contraption he brought out in 1983...for better or for worse, it was never the same after that

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 9, 2006 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

That's a really interesting point about '83...

I think one of two things happened w/that contraption: either Brent didn't use it to its full potential OR he over-used (abused maybe?) it...that sounds contradictory, I know...but I think he started to do some very interesting things w/it that Hornsby sort of touched on as well later--like a calypso or reggae kind of sound that was just fantastic for pieces like Scarlet>Fire....If you listen to some of those Hartford 83 shows (DP6 for example) you can hear at the start of Scarlet he lays down some cool stuff....but he doesn't stick with it and later, especially from '85-'88 he tended to lapse into "bells" stuff...almost like cheesy strings on a Barry Manilow record (this goes with the songs he started playing that eventually showed up on Built to Last--like "Just a Little Light" and other tunes too horrible to mention....)

it's almost like he was either too lazy to really find the sounds the more classic songs needed to grow or didn;'t trust himself enough to play them...instead we got "pop" tune sounds that were great for the "In the Dark" crowd but left the more roots-oriented or jazz-loving DeadHeads out in the cold (rain and snow).

This sounds like Brent bashing, but I promise, it isn't...i absolutely loved his voice and his innate talent on the keys; just hated his songs and sometimes the way he played the good ones.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

What I disliked the most was the heavy handed bar chord attacking the organ thing for lack of better description. Did sound cheesy to me. But like you I'm not bashing Brent, I could find many things I like about him.

But see what I mean? This was supposed to be a thread about Keith. Very unfairly underated imo.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Yes...weird how even tho' it's about keith, he always ends up being COMPARED to Brent! Guilty as charged, I guess ;-)

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Poster: doodle Date: Oct 9, 2006 5:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

I'm on board with Grendel here. It's also weird that my touring days were the 80's, and I loved it and Brent was the man, but I actually prefer the 73-75 GD stuff with Keith. He (and they at that time) was so amazing and fluid. I completely agree about the early Brent sounds too. The 83 stuff and the 79 sound when he came in - so cool! I wish he kept more of that sound and groove, but as other posters have mentioned, it was the direction the band as a whole was exploring that took things the way they went. What he was doing in 79, to me, was perhaps my favorite from him. Really neat stuff all around.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 1:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Brent's 1983 keyboard had programmable pre-set sounds, so he must have tailored them to his taste

if i'm not mistaken he could also get an acoustic piano sound out of it, but for some reason he almost never selected it, or if he did he had some bell or synthetic string orchestra type sound attached to it

no doubt it allowed for a greater variety of sounds, but i still prefer the acoustic piano sound of the Yamaha he used prior to 83, maybe because he was more or less confined to it other than brief forays onto the B3 and the grotesque sounding little synth he had on top of it (which he rarely used)

Keith had loads of talent, started strong but then lost interest, my guess is he was bored, eventually proved to be more trouble than he was worth...Brent steadily improved throughout his tenure, a far better deal for GD in the long run, that is until his abrupt demise...

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2006-10-10 08:13:00

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Poster: esreveRDelay Date: Oct 9, 2006 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

I agree with you. Dig the new threads LOL! The time keith arrived it was as fresh as moving from junior high to high school were there was nothing holding back. I also think Jerry from 1994 on should of stayed more in touch with JGB as when I heard him play with them those later years it was fresh again, like a man going back to a church he built. Nothing taken away from the Grateful Dead for 1994-1995 shows Jerry just sounded comfortable as sunday mass if i"ve ever been.

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 9, 2006 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Hi from Germany - thanks for starting this post, I thought about it, too, I really like Keith, and I'm like you, I love the ivories (never heard that word before) and I'm not crazy about synthesizers. It took me quite a while to get used to Brent,I like him as a person, he's a great musician, but his songs, or at least many of them, sounded so different from the Dead songs in the beginning... But I got to like his voice and overall contribution and that's ok., I would prefer to listen to Keith, though, love the grand piano! So since so many of us talk aobut Brent, I'm happy to hear what you said. (And I agree on Bruce also)
Do you have any show suggestions with an especially great sounding Keith, or does anyone else? Doesn't have to be too much of jazz freeform, though! I like 1st sets a lot, too. Thank you

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 1:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Oh yeah! I like first sets too. Sometimes I like them better depending on the show. Not to go off on a tangent but everyone thinks it's only about the 2nd set but come on, how many 2nd sets had the exact same songs in the exact same order?

What immediately comes to mind for me is the Europe 72 tour. The whole band sounded majestic and the piano just makes the sound - shot gun ragtime band indeed. Lots of great Keith work 72-74. 74 even saw him doing a little electronic piano too. Of course he was great up until 77 imo. Also his work with JGB is fine too. How about sitting in Limbo?

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

"Sitting in Limbo"

Don't know that one ... can you point me to a show with a good version?

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Oct 9, 2006 8:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Jimmy Cliff - Sitting here in Limbo off the Harder they come soundtrack. I'm not a big Reggae fan myself but I love Jimmy Cliff and Marley.

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Poster: Bugz Date: Oct 9, 2006 1:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

My first GD live experiences were in the summer of 1973 - 6/9 and 6/10 RFK; Watkins Glen; Roosevelt 7/31 and 8/1; Nassau 9/7 and 9/8;

Keith was amazing, as were the rest of the "team";

All the differen "pianner" players brought there own best most nights; Keith was so good so fast, sadly the demons caught up to him and he "only" had five great years with the GD (including the retirement) but wow1

Brent had a command of the B-3 organ, and a voice to go with it; Keith sang essentially only "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" (I was at the first performance of that tune) and was not quite a "singer" during his GD days.

Bruce is Bruce.

Vince arrived during the band's sunset, and had his share of supporters and, well, non-supporters. Both parties are correct, but i feel that he shouldered more than his share of the blame for the ultimate degeneration of the music.

Pig and TC - never saw them live, but the recordings speak for themselves.

Quick side opinion - i think that when the band went to the earpiece monitors is when the decay accelerated - '92 was OK to brilliant, but by late '93...

don't misconstrue, there were moments of brilliance up to the bitter end, but the isolation of the ear monitors removed a lot of the intimate interaction that the band could count on.

Just a thought...

Peace now.

Bugz

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Oct 9, 2006 8:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

I think you bring on a great point about the ear monitor BS. I thought that came on in 94-95 but maybe I'm wrong? I think the same about the teleprompter crap.Regardless I have a copy of that 4-1-95 that some people think is so great but to me it sucks. Not only musically but having Phil tell everyone the changes while they're playing? No thanks.

I guess I'm thankful I saw them when I did.

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 9, 2006 1:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Sitting in limbo, one of my favourite songs of JGB, I don't have many versions, one is on the "Don't let go" CD, I bought that last year in CA, Amoeba in Berkeley, great store. You probably know it.
So I'm going to listen to Europe 72 again, that's where I started seeing them, actually only one other show after that!

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 1:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

ganges: check out JGB in 1975 for Sitting Here In Limbo's with Nicky Hopkins on acoustic piano...priceless! (he played with Jerry from Aug 8 through Dec 31, 1975)

if you don't know already you can D/L the shows here (lossy format);

http://tela.sugarmegs.org/boxofrain/

text files here;

http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/asxcards/

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Poster: lostmoon Date: Oct 10, 2006 2:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

most shows look like wma's. where are the lossy files? - or can the wma's be converted?

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 5:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

they are WMA at 40 kbps

lossy when compared to 1411 kbps WAV, but a lot better than 16 kbps MP3 ;)

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Poster: lostmoon Date: Oct 10, 2006 5:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

so there is no way to convert to wav?

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 5:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

as far as i know there is no way to restore them back to the lossless SHN files they once were...also, since the D/L's contain whole shows too long to be burnt to discs, they have to be divided up with a software program (typically 1 track per song)...others might be able to direct in this matter...from what i hear, it is very time consuming...i suspect the hundreds of shows i have D/L from this site will mostly stay on my hard drive until i find better sources

but you gotta like the vast selection a sugarmegs, GD, JGB and otherwise!

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Poster: lostmoon Date: Oct 10, 2006 10:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

no question about the vast selection. it is impressive. it would be great if you (or others) had your favs I could zero in on. Nero wav editor is one way to split up whole shows to tracks, but is time consuming, but in some instances, worth it.

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 10, 2006 8:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

thanks a lot, I looked at sugarmegs, but could only find one show from that time, when Nicky H. played, the other are Garcia/Kahn in those months on sugarmegs, and the only one on GDLive is in the mp3 section, but no Limbo, so if you have anything in mind? Otherwise thank you anyway, I'll keep on looking now for that time period.

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Poster: high flow Date: Oct 10, 2006 10:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

The Grisman/Garcia compilation on GDlive has a nice Sitting in Limbo. Do you have/want that one?

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 10, 2006 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Which one is the compilation at GDlive?
I have one Limbo Garcia/Grisman on the official "Been all around this world", the JGB one on "Don't let go" and some DLs. Thanks

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Poster: high flow Date: Oct 10, 2006 4:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Hi Ganges - The copy I have is this one. Click the link then open the .txt file for details...

[outdated gdlive]

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2006-10-10 23:37:34

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 11, 2006 12:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

thank you, really, such a great Limbo, and such a great sound, really special!

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 10, 2006 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Wow! Just downed a copy of the Sitting in Limbo & yer right, excellent sound and great Jer vocals. Makes me guilty to think when i see a show, whether Dead or Jer side project, i automatically avoid most things post '88 thereabouts. Listening to this sweet song just proved the flaws in that approach. Or did Jerry maybe perhaps, for whatever reason, have greater vocal success with JGB, Grisman, Kahn, etc.?

[ ... now for a sweet Russian Lullaby from same period, hmmm?]

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Poster: high flow Date: Oct 11, 2006 9:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Ganges & Arbuthnot - I assume you mean the '92 version? Did you read the notes? The song-mix was done by Grisman for Gans' GD Hour. The CD(they say tape, my guess it's always been on CD, never tape)was stolen and circulated.

Anyhoo, it's one of the best acoustic records I've heard. Period. Check out 16X16, it's pure Gypsy Gold...

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 11, 2006 11:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

thanks high flow for that link, just listening to She Belongs To Me, what a sweet version, and 16x16 IS amazing!

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 10, 2006 12:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Great, thanks a lot, will get it tomorrow, it's late here by now.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 3:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

good morning ganges:

Limbo was performed only 10 times with Nicky Hopkins, 3 of these at sugarmegs, 10/23, 11/08 and 12/19/75, but of little performance value worth mentioning

unless the cassette i have is mis-labeled (?) the one i had in mind is 10/31/75 early show Tower Theatre Upper Darby PA...Nicky tickles the ivories on this Limbo like none other...anyone seen this show on the web anywhere?

what a shame that Nicky's compromised health prevented him from touring on a regular basis...imo Jer's best pianist

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Poster: ganges Date: Oct 11, 2006 12:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Thank you Midnight Sun, I found the shows now in the text files, I don't know why I didn't see them yesterday. I didn't figure out what is happening with the DLing at Sugarmegs, it's 9a.m. here, that would make 3a.m. NYC time, but it says DL prohibited, any idea? I'll keep on looking, thanks for the help

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Oct 10, 2006 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

those garcia/grisman shows have awesome sound. well worth the download as you know.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 2:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

I agree on Brents songs. I do not want to turn this thread into anything anti-Brent, it's meant to be pro-Keith but I will say for as much sh*t Bobby catches for his songs people don't give it to Brents. I mean the Brent lyrics are as cheesy as they get, or to put it politely like you did - don't sound like Grateful Dead songs.